I found a time capsule the other day. I’d heard a song from long ago and it sent me on a quest to find my collection of albums by the same artist. But I got sidetracked by a vision of myself from seven years ago encompassed on a discarded compact disk. The collection of songs it holds shows a moment in time when a girl loved a boy. They are a mix of artists who relate all the hopes and dreams of a girl happy to have found a boy. A mix that holds so much joy and hope and confession that transport me to that other life and that other love and the innocence of it makes me smile.
I’d forgotten about the disk and, to be completely honest, I’d pretty much forgotten about the boy too. I suppose it says a lot about the one-year, long-distance relationship I had with him. A photographer and writer, David lived in London and I lived in New York. I traveled to visit him, the boy that I loved in the city that I loved. He never made the trip to visit me – there was always a lens to purchase, a job stalking a celebrity to take, a writer’s retreat to go on.
In the end I broke it off.
I was days away from moving back to London and decided it was time to end our story. I find it funny in a sad sort of way that I chose to end our romance at the moment we could have finally seen each other everyday. I don’t regret my choice because I’d grown tired of dating an artist.
A relationship with someone who is driven by the need to create is difficult. We are in turns selfish, frenetic and distracted. We need company one moment and complete solitude the next. We need care, attention and above all, patience. Being in a relationship where both partners are artistic can either be magical or completely combustible but for me it was simply distracting. And exhausting.
I didn’t like the feeling that I was always second to his photography and my work was secondary to his own. I needed to be his first passion and I wasn’t. But on the other hand, he wasn’t mine.
I want love again, but not one of innocence and hormone-induced joy. I want a love that puts me first but understands that every now and then I need to put my need to create first. I want a love that recognizes the beauty in the mature woman standing here with scars and fears and unrealized dreams. Maybe, when I find that love, I’ll make another mix full of songs reflecting who I was, who I am and who I want to be.